If you're a dog owner and a true dog lover, it's a horrendous day when your dog dies. It's nearly as bad as losing a human being with whom you were very close as a friend or family member. But many people who don't own dogs or for some crazy reason don't like animals or pets cannot understand your grief. “It was just a dumb animal” some of the more insensitive members of that lot may say to you. This makes it hard for you to overcome your sadness. As a matter of fact, you might start questioning yourself. “Am I insane or hypersensitive, that I'm so overcome with grief over the death of my dog?” If you find yourself asking such questions to the mirror on the wall, don't worry about being imbalanced. You're not. You are the healthy, feeling human being. You are not crazy, and you are not “effeminate” if you're a man who sheds tears over the loss of his beloved companion.
So, the question comes “How do I handle this grief over the loss of my dog?” Let's look at some very important tips to that end.
* Get together with other people who understand your loss. I don't mean those who “tolerate” your loss, either. I mean those who empathize, understand, and are sincerely sensitive to it. If you can get together with another person who lost a dog or who has a dying dog, they may understand you best of all. Don't think you are being self-centered by seeking them out or bringing up their own emotional suffering; they will appreciate your company just as much as you appreciate theirs. Shun people who try to belittle you over your grief about the dead dog, even if those people include some of your best friends.
* If you have other dogs, get even closer to them. If you have other pets that are not dogs, do the same. Let this loss make you even more appreciative of your extant pets, even if you can be sure that you never did anything that could be called neglectful toward your now deceased dog companion.
* Consider getting a different breed of dog. This means getting a dog that isn't of the same breed as the one that just died. It's similar to the dating or marriage principal of not looking just for a rebound. You may find yourself seeking to replace the deceased dog with a “replacement”. This is entirely unfair to to both you and the new dog in your life.
* Leverage the grief to get creative. You might make some kind of memorabilia about your lost dog. It could be a collection of photographs, a collection of drawings, or some writings. You may even start doing something enterprising such as writing deceased pet memorabilia verses or blurbs for a greeting card company like Blue Mountain. You aren't exploiting memories of your dog when you get creative this way. You are honoring your dog. Furthermore, you are healing yourself.